Tuesday, April 1, 2014

{My Parties} They Found Their Missing Piece Adoption Shower

This little party is very special to me. You see, my very best friend since high school  and her husband decided to adopt a baby several years ago. They already had two beautiful girls, but wanted to give a home to a new baby who needed them.  
After jumping through 100 hoops and getting their hopes up only to have them dashed with their first match, they finally got their little bundle of joy this December. I can't tell you how much my girlfriends and I prayed that this baby would come to them. And, I always knew it was going to be a boy. Call it best friend's intuition. 
Jill is one of the kindest, most wonderful, loving people that I have ever met, and I am not just saying that because she is my besty. There is a reason that we have all stayed in each other's lives for the 17 years since we graduated high school. 
So, since the adoption process can be so very tricky, we decided to hold this shower after the baby was born and safely within their care. Plus, everyone wanted to see him!

Our inspiration was the idea that the family had found their missing piece. So, we literally did a puzzle piece themed shower!  Gretchen at Three Little Monkeys Studio designed this gorgeous invitation for me. 
On the ones I mailed to the invitees, I hand glittered one of the blue pieces, to reinforce the theme. Plus, it was pretty! 
For the backdrop, I cut these large jigsaw puzzle pieces out of cardboard. 
I used craft paint to paint them in these colors to match the theme. To tie them together, I punched a small hole and used clear craft lacing to give the illusion of them floating. 
That backlight was giving me fits, so forgive the pictures. But, here, I could care less, because it's the sentiment that counts, and not the pictures. 

We wanted a boy color scheme without screaming BOY! So, I think this turquoise, lime, periwinkle, and taupe really was a fun, modern choice. 
 The cake stand is a plant holder from Hobby Lobby. They are still carrying these in their Spring/Garden section. The miniature mason jars are from there too. 
All the beautiful turquoise and lime plates, utensils, and cups are from my friends at Birthday Express. 

 For the cake, I kept the design simple. A friend of a friend, Robyn Wolf, did the cake for us. We had a minor cake emergency when it shifted in my friend, and fellow hostess, Meredith's car on the way to the shower. But the fondant puzzle pieces disguised it pretty well! And, it tasted awesome!
I topped it with these wooden puzzle pieces for some height. 
We did some light "Ladies food" for the guests. My friend Kari did all the food, and she made this delicious pasta salad that everyone raved about! 



 The lovely Bethany at Sweet Georgia Sweet did this gorgeous wreath for us. She coordinated it to the invitations and it was the perfect thing to welcome the guests! Isn't it pretty?
 I really wanted to do something special for the tablecloth. I didn't want it to just be white. So, I got this brainstorm to hand-dye it. So, I bought 3 yards of white muslin and then used fabric dye in a spray bottle to create this watercolor effect. I am pretty obsessed with it. 
Chic tie-dye.  
 
The puzzle garland was made with actual puzzle pieces and chipboard puzzle pieces from Hobby Lobby. I painted them with craft paint and hot-glued them to craft lacing. I LOVE these!



 I had a "Hallelujah! Light-Shining-Down-From-Heaven" moment in Hobby Lobby when I saw this frame. 
How can this be that there was the PERFECT FRAME in the perfect colors? 
I would have paid $100 for it! I had to have it!


Here the the beautiful momma with her former baby, now middle child!
 And the man of the hour!  
Look. at. this. face. I adore him. 
 These girls are everything to me. My best girls since the 90s! 
Just for fun, here is a pic of us at Prom in 1997! Sweet limo, right? 

Welcome to the family baby Karter. Your "aunts" love you so much!



Vendors:

Cake: Robyn Wolf
Plates, Napkins, Utensils, and Cups: Birthday Express

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

{My Parties} Greyson's Wheels on the Bus Birthday Party

This party is a special one for me. You see, my son is 6 and he has special needs. Specifically, he has Tuberous Sclerosis. This is his birthday party. For 4 years in a row, he has had no interests to speak of, since he has been trapped in a life of seizures. Last year, the week of his birthday, he broke his leg. He spent his birthday party weekend in the hospital. 
But, this year, he has been seizure free for 20 months (KNOCK ON WOOD) and he has grown into a person who we are just now really meeting. 
He has blossomed and started talking and expressing what he likes and dislikes. And this is amazing. For 5 years, I picked his birthday themes by guessing, or by doing whatever I thought was cute. 
But this year, it was crystal clear what kind of birthday party he wanted. And though he didn't really tell me, since he is not that verbal yet, I knew he would love a school bus party. He is obsessed with school buses. He runs to the school bus every morning and loves to sing along to Wheels on the Bus. 

 So, without further ado or explanation. Here is his Wheels on the Bus 6th Birthday! 
 I knew that there was no one else in the world who could make my school bus party come to life but Piggy Bank Parties. I mean, really. LOOK at this invitation. Greyson carried it around for weeks. I know I saw this every time they design something for me, but this is going to be a big seller for them! 
 I always like to do a door hanging of some sort for my parties. This was a simple wreath form, wrapped in yellow tinsel from the Easter section. This tinsel had little pink bunnies all over it, but I put my in-laws to work removing all of them! Slave-driver! I added some scrapbook embellishments and a little piece of herringbone felt. The sign was made by Pink Fish Studios on Etsy. I loved it because I can hang it in his room after the party. 

 And of course, you know I had to do something for my foyer. I struggled with what I wanted to do, but I finally decided to make these street signs. I made them shine by using red/yellow gift wrapping foil on top. 
 I have seen a few other Wheels on the Bus parties out there, but of course, I needed to do something completely out of the box. 
So, I made the entire table into a bus!
The shape worked perfectly for the tabletop to be the hood of the bus. 
Corrugated cardboard is one of my favorite party materials to work with. You can get big rolls of pretty much any color.  I used it for all the yellow of the bus. 
 The lighting was not ideal in my house that day, so some of these pictures have horrible backlight, but hey, it's a real party. It happens. 
For the "windows" I used blue foil. The letters are from the teacher/school department at Hobby Lobby. They come in black and white. The lights on the top are glittered scrapbook paper.
The lights on the front of the bus are aluminum foil!
The table is empty on one side because we had hot dogs and I didn't want to put out the buns because I didn't want them to get stale! REAL. PARTY. 

 This. face. 
Everything to me. 
He kept putting his hands up, but his adorable shirt is by my friend Mollie at Personally Stitched. She has made him a shirt for all of his birthdays. 

 Here is a picture with the hot dog buns out! 

I always try to get a family picture on my boys' birthdays, but my 2 year old was being a two year old. You know how it is. 
 School bus cake! How cute is this? 
I caught him today, with his little grubby hand in the leftovers, saying "cake!"
 Mad Lily Cakery killed it as usual with this adorable cake. And the best part? Only the details are fondant. The rest is buttercream. Delish!

 And what's a Wheels on the Bus party without wheels? Autumn Lynn's Chocolate Sins did these BANANA doughnuts for me. These things got OUTTA here. Everyone loved them! 
 These amazing glittered stands are from Cupcake with Character. You might recognize them from my Born to Rock party. I knew I could use them for both parties and they were perfect!
  Look at how adorable these printables are!! 
 A vendor I have always wanted to work with is Marie at Sweets Indeed. She does these awesome candy skewers and I LOVE these stoplights! 
 I added these adorable favor tags by Piggy Bank Parties and some polka dot ribbon to finish them. 

 I love love love these cookies from Whimsy Cookie Co. The buses matched Greyson's birthday shirt perfectly! I had them put on sticks because, hello, stop signs are on sticks!


 It's hard to tell in this picture, but these printables are so amazing that they look like that his name is written in the fogginess of the windows! Crazy creative!


 All the plates, napkins, and balloons are from my friends at Birthday Express. 
This color just so happens to be called "School Bus Yellow!"

 

 Like I said before, we had a hot dog bar, so I used a couple of my vintage Coke crates
to hold these red and black plastic ramekins that I got at Target. 


 Yes, the banners are buses! So clever!



 For the favors, these adorable wheel Yo-Yos from Birthday Express were perfect!
Instead of presents, which my children DO NOT NEED, we had guests bring donations to The Confetti Foundation. If you don't know about this foundation, please visit their website and donate! They provide birthdays in a box for hospitalized children. And it just so happens that I am a birthday fairy for them! Our awesome guests raised over $400! That's 20 boxes for kids!

 I filled these AMAZING bus favor boxes with candy for the kids. It's amazing that these made it to the party. My boys would NOT stop trying to play with them. I had to hide them!

 And THIS, this is what is is all about. 
 My mother-in-law brought this crazy firecracker candle for him. It went crazy! 

Ok, picture overload! This bus has reached its stop! 



Vendors:

Balloons, Plates, Napkins, and Utensils, and Wheels YoYos: Birthday Express
Red Glittered Dessert Stands: Cupcake with Character
Printables: Piggy Bank Parties
Bus Sign on the Wreath: Pink Fish Studios
Banner: Shindigz
Stoplight Candy Skewers: Sweets Indeed
All Styling and Photography: GreyGrey Designs